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Trial Procedure Essay

922 words - 4 pages

In the film, A Civil Action, Trial Procedure was shown throughout the entire movie. There are many steps that need to be completed before a verdict and judgment can be reached. These steps are the pleadings, methods of discovery, pretrial hearings, jury selection, opening statements, introduction of evidence, cross examinations, closing arguments, instructions to the jury, and the verdict and judgment. The case in this movie was actually called Anderson v. Cryovac. The plaintiffs are the Anderson family, the Gamache family, the Kane family, the Robbins family, the Toomey family, and the Zona family. The plaintiffs’ attorneys are Jan Schlichtmann, Joe Mulligan, Anthony Roisman, Charlie Nesson, and Kevin Conway. The two co- defendants are W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods. The two co-defendants’ attorneys are William Cheeseman, Jerome Facher, Neil Jacobs, and Michael Keating.
In the pleadings, a complaint needs to be filed by the plaintiff with the court and the defendants. In this case, the complaint was filed for wrongful death and injunctions. The complaint was given to both companies on May 14, 1982. Then, the defendants must answer within twenty-four hours of receiving the complaint to the summon or risk losing the case by default of the court. W.R. Grace denied the allegations against them. Also, their other defenses was that the complaint didn’t state any cause of action, in the complaint the company named was misnamed, the company followed the due of care at all times and acted in “good faith,” and the claims against them are barred. The next step is the methods of discovery.
The Methods of Discovery is when both parties present all the evidence that they have. Both parties have the right to interview all witnesses of all the parties. The main witnesses of the case were Barbara Barbas, Vincent Forte, and many other witnesses. These witnesses consisted of the plaintiffs and the employees of both companies in Woburn. One of the employees from W.R. Grace admitted the he witnessed at his job the toxins being dumped into the water. Also, he mentioned that all of his children have had an abnormal medical history and they live in Woburn. He believes that there is a problem with the town’s drinking water. Many other witnessed expressed their families’ problems in their health history. This now leads to the pretrial hearings.
A Pretrial Hearing is when the judge outlines the law to the attorneys regarding the case as a final attempt to achieve an out-of-court settlement. No attorney ever wants to go to court because the case that they took on now becomes very expensive and takes a long time for the case to reach a verdict. Most of these cases are you settled out of court. The...

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